Paris--Kim Kardashian West never met a headline she didn’t like but, as they say, there’s a first time for everything.
Kardashian West was the victim of a robbery late Sunday night or early Monday morning in Paris at her suite at the l’Hotel de Pourtalès, as reported by numerous news sources.
The French Interior Ministry told CNN that five men threatened the hotel’s concierge to gain access to Kardashian West’s suite.
Once inside, two of the men allegedly put a gun to Kardashian West’s head, then tied her up and locked her into a bathroom before making off with a ring valued at $4.49 million and other jewelry valued at $5.6 million, plus two cell phones.
National Jeweler was unable to confirm which items of jewelry were stolen as of press time, from Kardashian West’s publicist or French officials.
However, Kardashian West made headlines recently when she debuted a second engagement ring, reported to feature a 20-carat diamond. The ring was designed by Lorraine Schwartz, who also created the star’s first 15-carat engagement ring from husband Kanye West.
Internet speculation is rampant that the newly acquired bauble was stolen in the heist.
Kardashian West might be one of the trickiest security cases there is, and there are parallels between her and the jewelry retail world.
She’s a member of a family who has actively courted fame through various reality television shows, augmented by a constant social media presence: blogs, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and even their very own apps.
A ritual flaunting of beauty, wealth and privilege is what keeps Kardashian West relevant and inundated with lucrative business deals. She’s shared her enviable rock on social media more than once.
Parading her wealth is her job, but it also makes her a target for crime.
Likewise, for jewelry sellers, social media is an essential promotional tool, but there’s no controlling who might be taking stock of a jeweler’s inventory.
Common best practices for social media, like not advertising one’s location, are difficult for Kardashian West, who has actively sought the attention of paparazzi over her career, and are equally difficult for jewelers who operate brick-and-mortar stores or showrooms and need to advertise their location so customers can find them.
What’s surprising is that Kardashian West was without security during the crime. The only buffer between her and the thieves was a hotel employee.
To learn from Kardashian West’s mistake, jewelers should stay diligent on the security measures they can control.
Take a look at our extensive list of jewelry store safety practices.
Here are a few highlights:
• Don’t advertise absences. And when you are gone, keep all merchandise in a safe.
• Run background checks on employees. Some are speculating that the Kardashian West heist could have been an inside job.
• Keep the sales floor fully staffed. Kardashian West was alone with her jewelry; make sure you’re not.